Break the Entitlement Syndrome this Holiday Season

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Finding the perfect gift for youngsters at Christmas time used to be a mystery to me before I learned about all the cool stuff tweens and teens love from Hot Topics.  Teen aged girls and boys seem to enter a parallel dimension that’s so hard to penetrate, you can’t make sense of what’s going through their minds until it’s time to eat or spend money.  Then, they feel entitled to everything they see, but don’t always want to work for it.  I learned this sense of entitlement is not a bad thing, but a natural part of growing up and pulling away from their parents.  But before they can pull away completely, they need a good dose of reality.  They need to understand that the world will not jump through hoops to meet demands like the ones they routinely put on their parents.  Many find this out the hard way.  When you see signs that your child has a sense of entitlement, there are things you need to address right away.

An entitled child may not feel like the rules apply to them.  They feel they have their parents so trained to provide their every want, and wish, they feel like they’ll get things just by asking for them, and many times they are right.  Parents say they’re children will not express gratitude, empathy or even be civil in front of guests, but will want them to stop what they’re doing and take them to the mall to meet friends, or finish their chores for them.  They expect bribes or rewards for good behavior.  They will rarely lift a finger, and not even respond to a request until they’re done playing with video games or talking on the phone.  These are not good traits to have today.

The best gift is one they’ve earned.  Working to pay for something they want from a popular store like Hot Topics is a way to make them feel more responsible.  It helps move the needle in the direction of adulthood, which is only a few years away.  So ask them what they should do to earn a gift.  Tell them to seek money saving ways to buy it.  Tell them how you’ve used Groupons to save money and suggest they do the same.  Who knows, they just might thank you.

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